The final command of Jesus to those who desire to follow him was to go. To the ends of the earth. To be his witnesses. Simple, right?
Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest things to do.
As Christ’s witnesses, empowered by the Spirit, we are to follow the example of our Lord and go. He hasn’t asked for our good intentions. He has asked for our whole lives, surrendered to him and his purposes, and to go and be his people for his sake in the world.
Our work is a continuation of his work. To go and to share all possible truth with all possible people in all possible ways. Connecting the whole gospel to the whole world with our whole strength.
“And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.” (Acts 1:8)
What would happen if the people of God were fully committed to the work of God in the world? What would happen if when we prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,” we meant it with sincerity of heart? What if we laid aside our own dreams, desires, and ambitions and allowed God to replace them with his own?
To answer these questions, we will be looking to the book of Nehemiah. We will catch a glimpse of what it looks like when God’s vision and burden becomes our own, what it looks like when people come together for a cause bigger than themselves, and what will happen when church culture is exchanged for Kingdom culture.
When God is at work, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. (re)building will be examining the limitless potential for God’s kingdom when the power of His word is coupled with the enthusiasm of committed individuals.
What does a life of faith look like? As Christians, we are told that we are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), but how does that become more than a nice platitude? How does that inform every aspect of our lives? How do we be a people who press on as the people of God, even when things are hard, or when the future is uncertain, or when we have settled into the numbing monotony of day to day life?
Fortunately for us, the pastor who wrote the letter to the Hebrews had a thing or two to say about these questions. He knew the circumstances of his hearers – how they went through all sorts of various trials and difficulties – and he cared enough for their lives that he spoke into their situations and offered them the hope that only comes from Christ, the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).
This sermon series is about what it means to be a people of faith. By learning from that “great cloud of witnesses,” those ancient faithful, we will see more clearly the nature of the faith the pastor who wrote Hebrews would have his hearers emulate. Their reliance upon the word of God and perseverance through whatever they faced will become a motivation for us to press on and persevere in the present today.
What does it mean to be the body of Christ? We have died with him. We have been raised with him. We have ascended with him and our lives are hidden with him in God. Paul says that in light of the fact that God has chosen us for a new life of love in his Son, we must dress in the wardrobe he has picked out for us (Colossians 3:12).
So many Christians have experienced the very worst of life in the body of Christ. They have been on the receiving end of anger, criticism, gossip, or slander. They have been ignored, embarrassed, or judged. Many have bounced in and out of churches for years without ever sensing they belonged or mattered to anyone. Is this the best we can expect out of the church in this life, or does God have something else altogether in mind? Can church become a source of real hope, real joy, real love, and real life?
Guided by the practical wisdom from the Apostle Paul for the churches in Colossae and Ephesus, this sermon series will take a hard look at the very worst of church life with a hopeful eye toward all we can become through the Son in the Spirit. To live out God’s intentions for the Christian church in the world, we must be a people who move From Rags to Righteousness.
The ascension. Myth? Legend? Fabrication? Or the intended consequence of the resurrection? Perhaps even more important: What does the movement of Jesus from the grave to the sky mean for my life?
This sermon series will grapple with these questions and so much more as together we dive into the implications of our Lord’s resurrection, ascension, and ministry both in between and beyond. Are you struggling with confusion, fear, or doubt? Jesus comes alongside of those who love him. Do you need a fresh perspective on life? He wants to give you his own perspective of himself, yourself, and the world around you. Do you feel alone in your efforts to sort through the labyrinth of your circumstances? He knows firsthand what you are going through and fights on your behalf.
Easter has come and gone. So now what? As people whose lives are hidden with God in Christ, what does it mean that we have died with him, been raised with him, and have moved with him From the Grave to the Sky?